Sunday, January 9, 2011

Online Transcription Service: ChaCha's Online Audio Transcription Job

* I no longer work with They discontinued all guide roles and launched a new program called "Apollo," which I am not currently familiar with. If you have any information, feel free to leave a comment below. Former guides should be able to log in to ChaCha Underground and click the "Pay Me Now" button to withdraw their earnings through the old guide system.

Get paid to transcribe online with ChaCha.

ChaCha is a text-message based question-answering system (similar to KGB, but free). The system is accessed by millions of people from all over the world. If someone has a question, they can submit it via text message to ChaCha. If their phone doesn't allow free outbound text messages, they can call ChaCha's voice service. Questions sent to the voice service are recorded and sent off to ChaCha transcribers. It is then up to them to transcribe the audio and forward it to a ChaCha expert who then researches and answers the question via text message.

Sounds complex, right? Well, it's supposed to be done very quickly, so you better know what you're doing!

Does ChaCha require terminology certification or special equipment?

ChaCha's transcriber position is considered "general transcription," so no knowledge of legal or medical terminology is required. ChaCha does not require any specific equipment either, although it is HIGHLY recommended that you invest in a pair of high-quality headphones. Besides that, the ChaCha Transcriber interface is equipped with all of the tools you need.

How much does ChaCha pay? When (and how) do they pay?

There are two "modes" for earning on ChaCha. In "Traditional Mode," transcribers earn $0.03 per completed and accepted transcribed audio. In "GuideShare Mode," transcribers earn 2 points for each completed and accepted transcribed audio. At the beginning of each month, points are given a cash value. If ChaCha guides stay on top of their game and receive great reviews for the month, the point value is increased.

Payments are made via direct deposit when earnings reach or exceed $100 prior to the 15th of the month. Instant payment is also available by requesting a ChaCha "Pay Me Now" debit card. After ordering the debit card (you have to file paperwork with ChaCha via snail mail), you'll need to activate it. Once the card is activated, clicking "Pay Me Now" from your ChaCha dashboard will instantly transfer funds to your debit card.

How much can you earn with ChaCha?

Earning potential varies greatly at ChaCha because many factors come into play. For example, one day, you may complete 200 sessions, but the next day, you may only complete 50. Sometimes ChaCha sends out "High Volume Alerts" when they're receiving a high volume of questions. Awards shows, season premieres, and political debates, among other events, will often result in a higher volume of callers. These are the best times to work.

I type 80+ words per minute with 100% accuracy and I work with high-quality headphones. When I transcribe for ChaCha, I typically earn about $3 per hour in Traditional Mode. Needless to say, the pay is low, but the work is enjoyable, and sometimes quite humorous. Questions are relatively short and precise, and if you have trouble understanding the caller, you can send a request to the caller for clarification or audio adjustment.

ChaCha doesn't accept everyone who applies. The test to become a ChaCha transcriber is pretty challenging, especially if you don't know what you're doing. Read through ALL of the guidelines before taking the test to increase your chances of success.

If you're not accepted as a Transcriber, you may also apply to become a Generalist, Specialist, or Expeditor. Read more about the available Guide Roles.

If you need a referral or invitation, feel free to use "".

Do you work for ChaCha? What has been your experience? Leave a comment and let us know!

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